American Anthem NPR brings you a year of stories about songs that rouse, uplift or call to action.

American AnthemAmerican Anthem

Music that challenges, unites and celebrates

Hundreds of singers joined MILCK and the Canadian choral group Choir! Choir! Choir! to perform "Quiet" at Toronto's Phoenix Concert Theatre in early 2017. Andrew Williamson/Courtesy of Choir! Choir! Choir! hide caption

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Andrew Williamson/Courtesy of Choir! Choir! Choir!

A Song Called 'Quiet' Struck A Chord With Women. Two Years Later, It's Still Ringing

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Nina Simone onstage at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1968. David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

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David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images

Nina Simone's 'Lovely, Precious Dream' For Black Children

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A statue of George M. Cohan, prolific Broadway composer and performer, stands in New York's Times Square. Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

George M. Cohan, 'The Man Who Created Broadway,' Was An Anthem Machine

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Ronnie Van Zant in 1975, onstage with Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Omni Coliseum in Atlanta. Tom Hill/WireImage hide caption

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Tom Hill/WireImage

Unfurling 'Sweet Home Alabama,' A Tapestry Of Southern Discomfort

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Ernie Isley (left) of The Isley Brothers and Chuck D of Public Enemy met at Mr Musichead Gallery in Los Angeles to discuss their respective versions of "Fight the Power." Nickolai Hammar/NPR hide caption

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Nickolai Hammar/NPR

'Fight The Power': A Tale Of 2 Anthems (With The Same Name)

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East L.A.'s Whittier Boulevard in 2018, seen from inside a classic Chevy. Mandalit del Barco/NPR hide caption

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Mandalit del Barco/NPR

The Story Of 'Whittier Blvd.,' A Song And Place Where Latino Youth Found Each Other

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U.S. Navy CPO Graham Jackson, with tears of grief, plays "Goin' Home," from Dvorak's 'New World' Symphony, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's body is carried from Warm Springs, Ga., where he died. Ed Clark/Life Picture Collection/Getty hide caption

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Ed Clark/Life Picture Collection/Getty

How The 'New World' Symphony Introduced American Music To Itself

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Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon perform in 1982 at Paris' Auteuil Hippodrome. Joel Robine/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Joel Robine/AFP/Getty Images

We Asked For Your Favorite Anthems. You Answered 'America'

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"Mother" Maybelle Carter (left) performs with her daughter Helen in 1977 at the A.P. Carter Memorial Festival in Virginia. Robert Alexander/Getty Images hide caption

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Robert Alexander/Getty Images

'Will The Circle Be Unbroken' Connects Musicians, Generation After Generation

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"I Am Woman" singer Helen Reddy performs in 1970. Ian Dickson/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

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Ian Dickson/Redferns/Getty Images

You're Gonna Hear Them Roar: 'I Am Woman' Is An Anthem Beyond Its Era

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The East L.A. band Las Cafeteras is known for a version of "La Bamba" that mixes traditional Mexican son jarocho with hip-hop. Jessica Pons for NPR hide caption

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Jessica Pons for NPR

Through Slavery, Segregation And More, 'La Bamba' Has Been The Sound Of Survival

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Sylvester performs with his band at the Los Angeles club Whisky a Go Go in 1972. Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images hide caption

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Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Bigger Than Disco, 'You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)' Is A Celebration Of Self

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Mark Hoppus (left) onstage in 2001 with Blink-182's then-guitarist and singer Tom DeLonge. Martin Philbey/Redferns hide caption

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Martin Philbey/Redferns

The Legacy Of 'Adam's Song,' An Anthem To Darkness, Loss — And Recovery

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Jennifer Hudson performs during the the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2018. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

'The Times They Are A-Changin" Still Speaks To Our Changing Times

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The 2nd South Carolina String Band in July, onstage in the main tent of the annual reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg. Bilal Qureshi for NPR hide caption

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Bilal Qureshi for NPR

The Anthemic Allure Of 'Dixie,' An Enduring Confederate Monument

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Lee Greenwood performs in Illinois in 1984. Released that spring to a modest chart showing, "God Bless the U.S.A." found staying power as political campaigns began to adopt it. Paul Natkin/Getty Images hide caption

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Paul Natkin/Getty Images

'God Bless The U.S.A.,' A Country Anthem With Enduring Political Power

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At Florida's Tampa Stadium in 1991, Whitney Houston delivered an iconic performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" to kick off Super Bowl XXV. George Rose/Getty Images hide caption

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George Rose/Getty Images

How Sports Met 'The Star-Spangled Banner'

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Kelly Clarkson performs during the KISS 108 FM Jingle Ball in Lowell, Mass. in 2004 — the year her second album, Breakaway, cemented her status as a pop superstar. Marc Andrew Deley/FilmMagic/Getty Images hide caption

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Marc Andrew Deley/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Dee Snider (center) with the rest of Twisted Sister in 1984. Mark Weiss/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Weiss/Getty Images

Don't Get It Twisted: 'We're Not Gonna Take It' Can Be Anyone's Protest Song

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Madonna at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards, where her racy performance of "Like a Virgin" caused an uproar. New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images

'Like A Virgin' Lives On, A Winking Anthem For Women Getting Married

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